Second in the Tribes series, this product details a well-organised and prosperous mercenary band of hobgoblins. Their default base is three hill-forts on the Lonely Coast, but they will transport readily to a suitable location in the campaign world of your choice. It's no rag-tag band, either, they are well-organised and several thousand strong. Wisely they have no territorial ambitions of their own and live in relative peace with neighbouring kingdoms, generally preferring to seek work further afield unless a nearby kingdom requires other humanoids to be dealt with on a pest-control basis.
The first part of the work covers the history, organisation and habits of the Mailed Fist hobgoblins. There's plenty of detail to make them easy to use, whether you meet them far afield participating in someone else's war, visit one of their hill-fort basis, or play a member (or former member) of the tribe. They include sorcerers amongst their forces, as well as aerial troops, the Black Wings, mounted on huge black bats.
Next comes a selection of new feats and spells that they use (although most are available to anyone should the opportunity arise). The feats are constructed around the style of fighting employed by the tribe, while the spells should prove interesting in pitched battle as they look at the creation of trenches, some filled with flame or spikes, which might be very effective ways of herding the opposition in the direction in which you want them to go! There are also some magic items which, like the feats and spells, are aimed primarily for use on the battlefield.
This is followed by a comprehensive array of stat blocks and other necessary material for running encounters with the tribe. Due to the way in which the tribe operates, a meeting with them does not automatically descend into a brawl - they can be quite diplomatic and after all, being mercenaries, normally only fight if they have been paid! So meetings may be with envoys or messengers, a column travelling to war elsewhere and so on. Even patrols are unlikely to use the characters for target practice without provocation. Several leading personalities of the tribe are described as well, should you happen to meet them. The bats they ride are also detailed, they are a new species of giant bat which the tribe saved from extinction and trained for riding and warfare.
This is a delightful little package, jam-packed with evocative details that will make the tribe come to life within your game world, and plenty of ideas spawn just as you read through for ways in which you might use them.
Hobgoblins of the Mailed Fist
Date Added: 10/01/2010 by Megan Robertson